Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors and Riunite Partner this Memorial Day

Posted on | May 24, 2015 | No Comments

TAPS

With Memorial Day around the corner, I always struggle with how to embrace this holiday in all its solemnity. Being a military family, Memorial Day brings a certain kind of rawness to our home. It is the reminder that freedom is never free, we try to give thanks and send up prayers for those who have paid the ultimate price and for the families who have lost their loved ones to war.

Earlier this week, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) reached out to see if I would be willing to help them promote their program. If you’re unfamiliar with TAPS, they provide peer-based support, grief and trauma resources, seminars for adults, Good Grief camps for children, connections to community-based care, casualty casework assistance, and a 24/7 resource and information hotline for those who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces community. When these families lose a loved one, they experience so much more than just the pain of loss. They are often stationed far from family, many times not working due to the strain of deployment on their employment, and they may have a great deal of debt or financial concern with their loved one gone. TAPS helps survivors work through their grief and also the practical and financial issues families face.

For the third year in a row, TAPS has partnered with Banfi’s Riunite wine. Between now and July 4th, 60,000 cases of Riunite wine will be in stores and will feature the TAPS dog tags and logo to show support and raise awareness. This wine is reasonably priced (at just $7.99!) and is a great way to support this cause.

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Additionally, Riunite is hosting a giveaway where the winner will receive a trip to Washington, D.C. All you have to do is submit your picture with your Riunite wine and TAPS dog tags to be entered (you can find the link here). I hope you enjoy a good bottle of Riunite this Memorial Day or Fourth of July and help support this worthy cause.

Disclaimer: I was provided a bottle of Riunite wine in exchange for my time on this post.

A baby on the way…and a house for sale.

Posted on | May 6, 2015 | 1 Comment

We have been some busy bees. I finished my second semester of grad school a couple weeks ago. Since then, I’ve been cooking a baby, coaching CrossFit…and getting a house ready to sell! Yes, we have made the decision to put our sweet, homey ranch on the market to look for something a bit bigger with space to grow. All while I’m thirty-six-weeks pregnant.

The good news is there isn’t a huge rush. If, for some reason, the house doesn’t sell at the price we need it to in the timeline we need it to, we will take it back off the market around October. We decided to list it now, rather than later, because the market in our neighborhood is a seller’s market right now, our yard looks beautiful from all the Spring blooms, and several other houses are listed in our neighborhood for WAY over our asking price. We are hoping our home provides the perfect way for a young family or empty nesters to get into a great location for less than many of the other homes. We can make do with this size if we have to, but we are itching for a guest room and a younger neighborhood with kids for our boys to play with and a nice back yard. Right now, we back up to a lake. Which is great for some! For me, it’s always been a little bit of a worry with the boys, and I would prefer just a nice, fenced-in space to play.

There’s also something to be said about nesting and readying a house for selling at the same time. My closets and garage are clean! My cabinets are cleaned out! Everything is looking so nice and fresh, so if nothing else, I have a great, clean space for baby.

Here are a few pictures of how it is looking now. These are taken from my iPhone at a weird time of the day, so the Realtor pictures should be better:

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house

house4

house18

house15

house19

house20

house12

house17

house16

house13

house2

house5

house7

house11

house1

house9
(excuse the tools. Taylor was putting crown molding in the bathroom).

house3

Phew! So we have done so much since we moved in:

1) New HVAC and air handler
2) New septic pump tank
3) Wood bamboo floors throughout
4) All new light fixtures/fans
5) New paint in all rooms
6) All new appliances
7) New countertops
8) New landscaping
9) New woodwork throughout

For our next house, here are our must-haves:

1) Move-in ready (minus some paint/fixtures/little fixes)
2) Newish construction
3) 4 bedroom/3 bath
4) Preferably guest suite on lower floor
5) Updated kitchen/appliances
6) Wood floor on lower-level
7) Young, family-friendly neighborhood in our area
8) Nice back yard (fenced-in is a plus!)
9) Two car garage
10) Larger master bathroom

Everything else is give and take, but we are hoping for these staples.

Now, as for the rest of life, things are good! Baby is right on track. Boys are happy, healthy, and excited about the upcoming changes. CrossFit is still going! I am definitely slowing down. I’m at the gym about four times a week at this point, and almost everything has to be modified. I am either having to lower weight or change out movements for things that are more comfortable. Still, it has been helping me so much with feeling pretty good. I am starting to get a bit restless, and I am definitely having some insomnia, but I can’t complain. I’m excited about the summer off of school, and I think a little break will be nice when the baby is here.

So, do y’all have any tips/tricks for us as first-time sellers? I’m admittedly a bit nervous about the whole process. We have a great Realtor who knows we are anxious about our first sell. But regardless, I’m excited about all that is on our plates. Here’s hoping we can keep it all together over the next few weeks!

Celebrating 14 years of cloth diapering with Kelly’s Closet & an AppleCheeks Little Bundle Giveaway!

Posted on | April 2, 2015 | 56 Comments

I cannot tell you how excited I am to be participating in this huge celebration of Kelly’s Closet 14th Anniversary! In April of 2001, Kelly’s Closet began before big-name brands like Thirsties, AppleCheeks, BumGenius, and GroVia were even in existence. It now home to over 100 brands of cloth diapers, diapering accessories, nursing products, and eco-friendly items for your entire family. One of the things I truly love about Kelly’s Closet is that it is a small, family-owned business that takes the time to focus on customer service and creating real, meaningful relationships with customers. My boys have spent the first weeks at home in Kelly’s Closet products, and Kelly’s Closet diapers have adorned their fluffy bottoms through potty-training. After potty-training, Kelly’s Closet was my go-to for postpartum and nursing gear. Now, I am turning to them again as I am expecting baby number three in June!

Over the next 13 days, Kelly’s Closet has partnered with some of their favorite brands and bloggers to bring you some amazing giveaways! Each day, new items will be added posted to the giveaway on the Cloth Diaper Whisperer Blog and shared via social media. All giveaways are ending April 14th at midnight ET, so be sure to get your entries in soon!

Be sure to follow Kelly’s Closet Social Media pages for more chances to win!
Facebook: DiaperShops, Kelly’s Closet, Cloth Diaper Support Group, The Cloth Diaper Whisperer
Instagram: @DiaperShops #kellyscloset #fluffiversary #clothdiapers
Twitter: @DiaperShops #kellyscloset #fluffiversary #clothdiapers
Pinterest: DiaperShops
YouTube: DiaperShops1

Be sure to thank the following brands for sponsoring the Fluff-iversary Celebration with their prizes. Rumparooz, AppleCheeks, BALM! Baby, Moraki, Logan & Lenora, Tidy Tots, Rockin’ Green, Imagine Baby, Geffen Baby, aden+anais, WolbyBug, Sweet Pea Diapers, Kissaluvs, Funky Fluff, Smart Bottoms, Thirsties, Pink Lemonade and Lillebaby.

Today, we are kicking it off with an AppleCheeks Microterry Little Bundle! If you’ve followed my blog, you know we are big AppleCheeks fans here in this house. I have a newborn stash of diapers that consists of half AppleCheeks Size Ones in a rainbow of colors just waiting for this babe to arrive. They can be used as a pocket diaper or as an All-in-Two, and I love the diversity of them!

Enter to win on the form below, and GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cloth diapering on a budget, without using morally questionable companies

Posted on | March 31, 2015 | 6 Comments

In the cloth diapering world, there is hashtag that is being promoted by several amazing companies and bloggers; #makeclothdiapersmainstreamchallenge

Combined with video testimonials from the bloggers, giveaways from the sponsors, and a Facebook page for challengers to ask questions and receive feedback, the event has blown up on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. People everywhere are taking the challenge to cloth diaper their baby for the first time or to start again if they gave up years ago with other children.

I love this movement. When I started cloth diapering Sullivan years ago, I had to scour the Internet, seek out local boutiques who had a handful of cloth diapers in their inventory, and ask diaper companies directly for guidance. Having information readily available for parents is amazing, and it is so great to see them taking initiative and the plunge into cloth.

One continuous theme I am noticing is mothers asking for budget-friendly ways to begin cloth diapering. They are often inundated by replies that they should seek out “China cheapies!!!” because they are “amazing and work just as well as my expensive diapers.” Let me be the first to say, I understand the need to stay to a budget. While cloth diapering saves a great deal of money in the long run, it can be a cost-prohibitive upfront expense that many families struggle to justify. Not everyone has $600-$2000+ to dole out to companies for top-of-the-line all-in-ones, pockets, and hybrids. I absolutely, 100% get it.

HOWEVER, china cheapie diapers are not all they are cracked up to be. People are lured in by the promise of $5.00 pocket diapers that are “awesome!”, but in reality, they are supporting a brand that pays unfair labor wages, does not comply with CSPIA standards, and blantantly rips off other brands and designs patented in the United States. So what does this mean?

1) If diapers are not CSPIA compliant, they are not tested for lead and other harmful chemicals. Your diapers may contain some pretty nasty things that you are trying to avoid on your baby’s skin. Some of these brands include, but are not limited to, Kawaii (made in Canada, but not currently CSPIA compliant), Alva Baby, Sunbaby, Thx Diapers.
2) Many brands rip-off patents from hardworking U.S. companies. They use selling points like double gussets taken from designs of well-known brands. Every time they do that, they are taking money out of the pockets of hard working families who have funded and created cloth diaper companies here in the US (or Canada).
3) These illegitimate diapers can only be sold via co-ops, through eBay, or occasionally on their sketchy websites. That is because the are illegal in the United States. If the feds ever DO decide to come after these companies, the mothers sponsoring these co-ops are going to be some of the first who are caught. Think about the “knock off parties” and purses being sold out of the trunks of cars. Those who sell them are the ones going down first.
4) Poor living wages are paid to the people working in these diaper factories. While ethically avoiding every product made in China is virtually impossible for most people, understanding where your product comes from and how the companies who have sent manufacturing overseas support their workers is very important. The vast majority of legitimate diaper companies in the US who outsource labor also work very hard to ensure their workers are taken care of and fairly compensated for their time and effort.
5) If something goes wrong with your diapers, you have no one to turn to. If you purchase from a legitimate company, there are warranties, FAQs, and real people to contact for troubleshooting or quality issues.

So what can you do? Well, when we know better, we do better. I’m not saying that if you already own these diapers that you should trash them right away, but these reasons are things to consider when making purchases in the future. There are so many ways to cloth diaper inexpensively and effectively without resorting to questionable products.

Flour Sack Towels, Flats, Prefolds, and Covers-

You can’t find a simpler, more efficient system than sticking to the old school basics. Flour sack towels can be found in virtually any grocery store. Flats and prefolds are all over the place, made a good quality materials, and are very inexpensive. For example, an Econobum kit comes with three diaper covers, twelve prefolds, and a wetbag for just under $65.00. By two for just over $130.00 with taxes, and you can easily cloth diaper your child. It may not be as flashy as other systems, but it works and it’s cheap. Other great covers include Thirsties , Bummis , Flip, and Rumparooz. In a pinch, you can use receiving blankets or even old t-shirts as prefolds or flats. Anything goes.

There are great, inexpensive pockets available too!

Imagine diapers are one option. Nicki’s diapers are another consideration. Shop around! You may be surprised.

Buy used or borrow-

Buying used always skeeves people out at first. But diapers are easy to sanitize, and they are meant to be reusable! There are tons of Facebook swaps (like this one or this one). A quick search will reveal almost any brand has it’s own buy/sale/trade group. Some brands have “HTF” (hard-to-find) prints where the resale can skyrocket, but most have reasonable resell value and can be purchased for under retail in great shape. Just make sure you really pay attention to condition description, ask for pictures, always pay through PayPal as goods, and when possible, check the seller’s feedback. Unfortunately, scammers do exist. Unless you’re handy with a sewing machine, you’ll want to find diapers with good elastics and fleece (or whatever inner is specific to that brand), and you want to ensure that if it is a PUL diaper, the PUL does not have any cracks or tears. Discolorations, small holes in organic fabrics, stains, and fading and not real problems, and buying diapers with a few cosmetic issues can be cheap.

Buy from retailers with coupons and rewards-
I buy almost all my diapers from Kelly’s Closet. Sometimes they have in stock what I want, and sometimes I have to wait. But I am able to earn points for every dollar I spend, and these points can be redeemed for great gift cards I can put towards more diapers or products. They also have weekly/monthly coupon codes that are often for a free diaper or cover. I would venture a guess that I have earned somewhere in the ballpark of $300 worth of free diapers by buying only from Kelly’s Closet, purchasing on double points days, always waiting for a coupon, and redeeming my points for free diapers. Almost every retailer offers some version of these rewards, so be sure to shop around and find what best suits you.

Enter giveaways-
I know. It’s a pain in the ass to have to search for giveaways. But they are EVERYWHERE, and for a couple minutes of your time, you just might win a free diaper. I take a few minutes out of every day to search for new giveaways, enter, and be done with it. I’ve probably one a handful of times over the course of five years. It’s not a guarantee, but when you’re on a budget, any giveaway is worth a little effort.

Apply to receive free diapers-
If you are truly in need of diapers and do not have the funds to support the purchase, there are several banks and charities available that will give diapers to qualifying families. I also urge you to donate if you are fortunate enough to have extra diapers on hand. One example is “Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.”

Natural Birth Plan: Part Three

Posted on | March 30, 2015 | 2 Comments

I’m hesitant to write this post after putting it all out there before Arlo was born and having our birth plan go very differently than anticipated. I was surprised at how hard women can be on other mother’s because they don’t agree with their particular method of bringing their child into the world. If you were following me then, you may remember our plan was to go 100% naturally. Several things worked against our favor. I tested positive for Group B Strep and had to receive antibiotics, which meant I did not labor as long at home as I had planned.

I received criticism for not holistically treating the strep instead of receiving antibiotics.

Next, the OBs who had been there with me through my pregnancy and who supported my birth plan were not on-call.

I was criticized for choosing to delivery in a hospital instead of a birth center.

The nurse who was my primary nurse was absolutely horrible, completely not in my side of the ring, and had me sobbing within minutes of arriving at the hospital. The OB was foreign, and I’m afraid some of our conversation was lost in translation.

I was criticized by not speaking up enough while in active labor.

The OB and nurse insisted I had to be in the bed on constant fetal monitoring.

I was criticized for not saying no.

At the end of 33 hours of labor, I finally gave in to an epidural. It never took. I delivered an hour later. Poor Arlo had mild shoulder dystocia and was born bruised and battered. It took my midwife (who I wish had been there all along) pushing on my uterus to help turn him appropriately for delivery. Recovery was easier than with Sully, physically, but mentally, I beat myself up over and over for giving in to the hospital “policies”, for not speaking up enough, and for not holding out longer for the epidural.

I learned quite a bit from his delivery. I learned I can always say “NO” to procedures, and I will keep that in mind with this baby. Unless something is medically necessary for the health and safety of mom and baby, I will be saying no. I learned that the bed absolutely stalls my labor, and I progress much better while moving around and laboring how I feel most comfortable. I will refuse to get in the bed this time unless something happens where the baby or I absolutely need constant monitoring. With Sully, I never really experienced labor. With Arlo, I learned that I am capable of handling it, what it feels like, and what is “normal.” I will be less fearful this time.

My OB and her staff are on my side this time. They know my story. They are supportive of natural labor, and they have promised me more freedom and flexibility this time. I will be delivering in a hospital equipped with whirlpool tubs and labor balls. I have a much shorter car ride this time. Tay and I have talked about transition and what I need from him to help get through it all. My mom and sister will be there to provide more support or extra voices if we need them. I’ve thought a great deal about connecting with this baby during labor and remember that we are in this process together.

Mostly, I’m excited this time. I don’t feel anxious. I don’t feel nervous. I just feel the pull of anticipation about something great. I think I will keep some of our birth plan closer to the heart this time. I don’t feel it is healthy or normal for women to criticize how others choose to give birth, and putting it all out there on the blog always leads to someone’s negative opinion.

We will be finding out the sex of this baby on his or her birthday, and our family and friends will be learning the sex and name of the baby. So, I am greatly looking forward to that moment when we can share those special things.

Only six to eight (ish) more weeks.

Just chugging along.

Posted on | March 26, 2015 | 2 Comments

Thirty-weeks-pregnant.

I’m finally hitting that stage where breathing feels like a novelty. I’ve had terrible allergies the last few weeks, too, which means a constant stuffy nose and a smoker’s cough. I see my doc next Thursday, so I’m going to see if I can take something, ANYTHING, besides Benadryl. Because, that knocks me the hell out for the rest of the day, and honestly, ain’t nobody got time for that. I’m still coaching several days a week, and honestly? I am SO glad that I am. It gets me moving and makes me go to the gym even when I don’t feel like it. More days than not, I struggle to find the motivation to do more than the housework, and having to be at the gym and watching everyone else get after it is a great encouragement.

As the cold weather comes to an end, I feel the winter fog lifting, and I’m starting to feel back to normal. I truly think I have Seasonal Affect Disorder, and I feel so much better with sun and birds. I could do without the pollen.

I’m trying to spend a little time with girlfriends when I can. I don’t see them as much as I would like, but they have been so supportive during my time in school and with Tay gone here and there.

So not much to see here! I wish I had some great, exciting news to share, but I guess the mundane is really what life is all about, no? I’m getting back into the world of cloth diapers, and I’ve got some cool things coming up for you soon. So if you’re a cloth diapering mama, stay tuned! I never really thought this stage would happen again, so I’m looking forward to a fluffy-bottomed baby and this next step in life. As they say, the waiting is the hardest part….

PS! Picked a winner for the Flip giveaway…Manda, you have been emailed.

Surviving grad school and babies and coaching and pregnancy….

Posted on | March 18, 2015 | 3 Comments

When the boys were little, I remember feeling so….bored. I did the same thing every day. Feed, burp, change diapers, put down for a nap. Wash, rinse, repeat. I remember feeling so starved for human conversation when Taylor was gone, and I was at home with the boys. I remember feeling tied to the house between feedings and fearing public meltdowns. I remember thinking that stage would never end and trying to hard to enjoy the moments while secretly wishing the days would go by more quickly.

To new mamas, let me tell you now…this, too, shall pass. One day you’ll wish for a bit of monotony and some time down because you will be so damn busy that you can’t remember what it’s like to be truly bored. I won’t tell you that you have to enjoy these moments. I promise. I know how trying and exhausting they are, and I feel your pain. I will just say, this time will go by quickly (in hindsight), and you will look back on it fondly as we tend to do on the past.

Now that Sully and I are both in school, and now that I’m coaching CrossFit, and now that I’m pregnant, I’m finding that the days are filled from top to bottom with busyness. Our schedule looks something like this:

6:30-7:00AM- I wake up, do a load of laundry and dishes, dress and get ready.
7:30-Wake up boys, feed them, brush teeth (you know…most days), dress them or have them dress themselves, and hustle them out of the door.
8:30-Drop Sully off at school.
9:00-Either coach CrossFit or work out at the 9:00AM class while Arlo hangs out with the child care crew.
10:30-Head home to immediately work on school while Arlo plays, most days. Some days, we run a few errands or do a play date during this time, instead.

11:45-Head back out the door to pick up Sully from School.
12:30-Feed boys and let them watch a show on TV while I clean up lunch and switch out laundry and dishes.
1:00-3:00-This is rest time. I give everyone potty breaks, we read books, give kisses, and down they go. Arlo naps while Sully “rests” in his room. I use this time to do school work frantically. In between assignments or lectures or readings, I’ll wipe down bathrooms or sweep floors. Maybe vacuum.
3:00-WAKE UP time! I’ll wrap up whatever school work I’m doing and try to get another chore done before we are out the door again.
3:30-Back out the door. I coach from 4:00-6:00 several days a week. Some nights, I don’t coach until 6:00-7:00. On the mornings I coach at 9:00 instead, I head back to the gym to do the 4:00 or 5:00 class. Boys play in the play area and then get to run around the gym, swinging on rings or playing on the rowers while I wrap it up.
6:30-7:00ish-Home. Tay and I usually walk in the door right around the same time. The boys get to play outside while we grill or make supper together. We bring them in to eat, and then…

8:00ish-Tay bathes boys and gets them down for the night with a book while I clean up supper mess and make Taylor’s lunch and coffee for the next day.
8:30-9:30-We watch a show together and unwind. This is our time to talk about our days, play catch up with each other, and just breathe.
9:30-10:00ish-Shower and bed. Some nights, I stay up later while Tay heads to bed because I have school work to finish, but we try to go to sleep at the same time. I usually need less sleep than eight hours, but being pregnant totally wipes me out.

So, while our days are basically the same most days, they are filled with other people, chores, responsibilities, and family time. I honestly feel really lucky right now, and I know when the baby comes, a ball will have to drop some where. I feel really lucky that the boys have a built-in best friend to entertain while I am busy with school or work. I told Tay last night that something will have to give once we are getting way less sleep and having way less “free time” for school and housework. It will be a game changer, but I’m excited about the challenge.

Life has to give way. And there are always sacrifices. Starting school meant that I have a much smaller social life. I see my girlfriends at the gym and sometimes on the week or the rare play date, but usually, I have to hustle Arlo and myself home to get to work. Taylor’s job means he’s out of town or working late many nights, so we work hard to make the most of our time together.

Today, I chose to stay-at-home this morning. Instead of rushing to the gym, we took advantage of Sully’s spring break, some beautiful weather, and a hot cup of coffee. As I write this, my school work is done for the week, the doors and windows are open, and the boys are riding bikes in the driveway. I am sitting in a lawn chair watching my children be children, and I am feeling very, very content. Tomorrow will be full of hustle and bustle again, and tonight, I have to head to coach the 6:00PM. But for now? I’ve got some sun, some free moments, some happy boys, and a husband on his way home.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Fluff news and a giveaway.

Posted on | March 17, 2015 | 1 Comment

Happy Saint Patrick’s day to all you out there!

If you’re a cloth diapering mama, I’ve got some fluff news for you. First of all, Kelly’s Closet is having a great sale on a ton of products. Get 10-20% off as well as a FREE one-sized diaper (valued $19+) with any order over $119 with the coupon code “SPRING.”

Next, Smart Bottoms diapers is doing a Seconds Sale this Friday starting at 12:00PM EST.

Make sure you don’t miss out on this if you’ve been wanting to try out the diapers. I just got my first two in the mail!

I love that they are all-in-one, organic, and made in the USA. I haven’t had a chance to use them yet, obviously, but they remind me of the old-style BumGenius Elementals. However, they have an extra-long soaker that can be folded to give baby coverage where they need it most, and it dries more quickly because the soakers are not all sewn together. They have super cute prints, and no exposed PUL. I’ve also ordered one of their newborn diapers…so look for a review in the future.

Finally, I have a BumGenius Flip diaper cover to give away to one of you! I received it free with an order from Kelly’s Closet, and I don’t use diaper covers very often unless their wool. So my loss is your gain! Enter below, and good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This post does contain affiliate links. I am now a Smart Bottoms Diaper Ambassador and an affiliate of Kelly’s Closet. I was not compensated in any way for this post.

CrossFit and the Third Trimester of Pregnancy

Posted on | March 12, 2015 | 2 Comments

Hello hello, lovely readers. I have officially entered the third trimester of this pregnancy and am sitting at twenty-eight-weeks pregnant. I wanted to talk a little about how CrossFit is going and what I’m having to do and change as the belly grows. I have to admit, the last couple weeks I have really started to find many of the movements in CrossFit to be more difficult and sometimes uncomfortable. I bought a maternity belly “sports bra” to help with high-impact movements like running and double unders, but my running has turn into a slow jog, and my double unders have lost much of their coordination and ease. This week, I’ve decided to do my olympic lifts (the clean and snatch) from the hang position instead of the floor because the belly seems to really get in the way. Snatches are almost non-existent as the bar has to move too far away from my body to make the lift, so I prefer dumbbell snatches right now. I’m still squatting below parallel, but I don’t think that will last much longer. The belly is simply too big! Burpees have been majorly modified. I rarely do pull-ups unless it is a very low volume work out, and I’m generally sticking to ring rows (which, honestly, are still pretty terrible!).

Now, with all that said, let me also mention that I am still really enjoying my time at the gym. After the past couple of years where I worked so hard to be more competitive, to constantly improve my lifts and time, and to RX as much as I could, it is kind of nice to take a backseat, to work out just to sweat, and to cheer on my fellow gym mates while they reach new PRs and worked hard in the Open. Even though I’m still doing the Open, the pressure to score well and beat my reps and times from last year is gone. I’m really looking forward to getting back to pushing myself, but for now, I’ll enjoy taking it a little easier.


Twenty-eight-weeks pregnant.


Twenty-seven-weeks pregnant, 235# deadlift (not my max lift, and YES, my doctor is okay with all of this, thankyouverymuch).


Beebs in the tires.

I’ll be honest with you, not every day is easy to make it to the gym. Some days, I do my best just to show up and row for a little while. I’m still coaching quite a bit, and that means I have to show up even when I don’t always feel up to the challenge. Mostly, the social aspect keeps me going because I love seeing my girlfriends there every day. But there’s no one hanging over my shoulder pushing me to go. Taylor isn’t tracking my work outs or paying attention to what I eat. My doctor might be one of the most laid-back, awesome doctors ever, and I’m fairly certain she hasn’t looked at my weight chart even once. What keeps me going is the hope for a healthy, strong baby, an easy delivery, and a quick recovery. I hope it doesn’t take me two years to feel back to myself like it did after Arlo. I hope that getting back into the gym doesn’t make me want to cry like it did with both my other pregnancies. I just hope to be able to heal quickly and get back into life with a newborn and these sweet boys.

Gender Neutral Nursery Reveal for Baby Three

Posted on | March 10, 2015 | 3 Comments

Our nursery is almost complete. From dingy, thrown-together guest room, to bright and airy nursery, it has become one of my most favorite rooms in the house. Baby three still has a good 10-13 (14!? Please…no) weeks until arrival as I am twenty-eight-weeks pregnant this week, but anyone who knows me knows I am no procrastinator. I like to have things settled and in order long before necessary, and my nurseries are always done pretty early. So, this project was fairly easy. Well, I say it was easy. Taylor did all the heavy lifting. We had to:

1) Remove all the guest room furniture…so basically a bed.
2) Replace the ceiling fan.
3) Paint the ceiling, doors, walls, and trim.
4) Scrape the paint off of the window panes.
5) Hang new curtains.
6) Replace door hardware.
7) Decorate!


Guest room after we painted the walls and replaced the fan, but before we did anything else. You can probably find the God-awful yellow I had in the guest room from when we first moved in under my House Tour page.


Curtains (that are a bit short and need some fabric added), rocker/ottoman, rug, and lamp from overstock.com.
Pillow and throw from TJMaxx.
Side table an old IKEA find.


Pictures scavenged from my parent’s house. They used to belong to my little sister’s room.


Changing table saved from the boys’ nurseries.
Basket and birdhouse from TJMaxx.
Wooden figures are handmade toys that were gifts from my mom and our family friend, Kay.
The pictures actually still need to be hung somewhere…
And that carseat needs installing. I’ll wait a few more weeks for that.


Crib “vintage” from the boys.
Bedding saved from Arlo’s nursery, but originally from Pottery Barn.

This room is teeny-tiny, so I hope you can get a feel for how it looks. It’s hard to stand in the middle and get decent pictures. Speaking of the boys, they are both finally getting excited. I can’t wait to see how they react when baby is here. Baby STILL doesn’t have a name. Well, if baby is a she, she does. But if baby is boy? I have no idea what we’ll name him. That’s not true. We have a list of names. But we cannot seem to settle on a first/middle name combination. People keep asking me if I’m hoping this baby is a girl, and honestly? I’m really not. I truly, TRULY have no preference for sex. I can see myself with a baby girl, and I cherish the relationship I have with my mother and sister. It would be wonderful to have that with a daughter. At the same time, I see my little boys, and their bond, and their just pure sweetness. And how could I not hope for another one? Either way, we will be absolutely thrilled.

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  • "I'm a twenty-something mama to two little boys and married to the love of my life. Former Diet Coke addict with a tendency to overshare. My biggest dream is to write a book. A good book that tons of people buy and relate to and love. In the mean time, this is the story of us as we flounder through raising our wild, little boys, moving a million times thanks to the US Army, and buying and renovating our 1968 Ranch home."



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